24 Apr 2021 in News
CULCHETH EAGLES 30 LEIGH EAST 18
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East NWML side got their 2021 season underway with a tough friendly game at Culcheth Eagles Shaw Street home.
There was little between the teams in the opening exchanges before a fight erupted and Tom Disley was sinbinned for his part. Worse befell visiting second row Adam Whiteside who was dismissed.
The hosts immediately took advantage when a break from on the right was followed by an offload and strong running second row Charlie Maxted touched down. The kick was missed but Culcheth were 4-0 to the good.
Within a couple of minutes, however, the visitors edged in front when James Ball used hulk-like strength to crash past a couple of defenders to score and Chris Penn converted.
The game swung from end to end with neither side making their attack count until a looped pass from Penn was finished in the left corner by Daniel Richardson for East. Penn added the difficult conversion and East led 12-4 at half-time.
Leigh East had to make a good start to the new half but it was the Eagles that flew in with renewed speed and vigour. It was kickstarted by impressive sub Paul Martin who picked up out of dummy half and carved through the middle from 35 metres to finish by the posts. Jacob Maxted added the first of his three goals and he was on target again after Adam Rainford put a short kick into the corner for Josh Knox to pounce. Not to be outdone, a spectacular 80-metre effort from brother Jake Knox followed when he zipped down the left side and beat several defenders to cross at the other end.
Culcheth further underlined their superiority when crisp passing from left to right saw Matt Appleby touch down for Maxted to goal. Impressive Ben Woods created a try off the boot for Jay Gallagher for the visitors and Woods struck the conversion but the final word was with the Eagles and a top-class diving finish in the corner from Mike Rushton confirmed the win.
East face Hindley next week.